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Tossed in a lemon vinaigrette, this Arugula Pasta Salad is packed with grape tomatoes, roasted red peppers, Kalamata olives, artichoke hearts, and pine nuts. It can easily be made gluten-free by using gluten-free pasta and vegan by using vegan cheese.
OK, first things first. I must tell you this was SUPPOSED to be a recipe for Arugula AND WHITE BEAN Pasta Salad made with gluten-free pasta.
In fact, with my grocery list in hand, I headed off to the store to purchase all the items needed to make this awesome Meatless Monday dish.
Gluten-Free pasta…check! Grape tomatoes…check! Provolone cheese…check! Salad dressing…check! Roasted red peppers…check! Baby arugula…check! Cannellini beans…cannellini beans…cannellini beans? Cannellini beans were nowhere to be found.
The entire shelf was completely EMPTY!
I ran to the customer service desk and asked the manager if cannellini beans just happened to be located in any other part of the store. There must be some place they are hiding these gems, I thought. After checking with the staff in the back, she informed me that there must be a cannellini bean shortage.
Oh, OK, I see, a cannellini bean shortage, of course. That makes perfect sense. NO, IT DOES NOT! What kind of superstore has a cannellini bean shortage? I explained my situation and my desperate need to acquire cannellini beans for my very important blog post for Meatless Monday.
That did not change the fact the store was out of cannellini beans. My plea did not make a worker emerge from the stock room with a glorious hidden stash of cannellini beans. It did not make a misplaced box of cannellini beans magically unveil itself from behind the curtain. Nope, none of that happened.
So, as any respectable food blogger would do, I fell to my knees in the middle of Aisle 9 and cried, “Nooooooo!”
No, of course I did not really do that. I just cried instead.
OK, OK, I didn’t cry either. I’m just going for some dramatic tone here, people. You know, liven things up a little, maybe create a some suspense…
So, what really happened was that I implemented Plan B (Find a replacement for the cannellini beans).
After carefully perusing the shelves, I went with kalamata olives, artichoke hearts and pine nuts.
As I placed my items on the check out line belt, the manager began helping the cashier with his register. She saw me and asked what I ended up doing about the beans. I told her about my stand-ins and she nodded in acceptance.
So, I packed up my cart and headed home with my packages. I poured some wine (Fontana Candida Frascati) and got to work making my new Gluten-Free Arugula Pasta Salad sans cannellini beans.
After tasting the result, I am convinced everything happens for a reason. I could have gone to another store for the cannellini beans but I believed there was a reason they were out of stock. Although I love them dearly, this dish was hearty, healthy, refreshing and delicious without them.
How to make this arugula pasta salad
To make this Arugula Pasta Salad, start by cooking your pasta (gluten-free or non-gluten-free) according to package directions. Drain and rinse with cold water.
Once completely drained, add pasta to a large mixing bowl. Add the remaining ingredients and toss to combine.
Garnish with additional cheese and pine nuts if desired. Enjoy! 🙂
For more pasta salads, check these out next:
Arugula Pasta Salad [with Gluten-Free & Vegan Options]
- 12 oz. fusilli or rotini pasta (traditional or gluten-free)
- 2 cups baby arugula (packed)
- 3/4 cup grape tomatoes (halved lengthwise)
- 1/3 cup thinly sliced roasted red peppers
- 1/2 cup Kalamata olives (halved lengthwise)
- 1/2 cup canned artichoke hearts (not marinated, chopped)
- 1 cup lemon vinaigrette dressing (I used Marzetti brand; for the gluten-free and vegan options, ensure the dressing you choose has gluten-free and/or vegan ingredients)
- 1 cup vegetarian-friendly shredded provolone cheese, plus additional for garnish if desired (For the vegan option, use a vegan Parmesan cheese such as Violife or Follow Your Heart)
- 3 tablespoons pine nuts, plus additional for garnish if desired
- Cook pasta according to package directions.
- Drain and rinse with cold water. Drain again.
- Once completely drained, add pasta to a large mixing bowl.
- Add the remaining ingredients and toss to combine.
- Garnish with additional provolone cheese and pine nuts if desired.
- Enjoy at room temperature or chilled.
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